Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Banner Over Me...

“He calls me to His banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” 
–Song of Solomon 2:14
With Valentine’s Day on Saturday, here’s my two cents on Love. So my friends, whether you have someone this Valentine’s Day or if you’re single and you have a date with pint of Ben and Jerry’s (that’s my game plan… just kidding.) I pray that through this, you are reminded that it is by HIS LOVE that we know what true love is. Be encouraged dear ones. You are loved. 

This verse can easily be skimmed over and not really given much attention. As I’ve dug deep into this verse, it has so much more to do with the Gospel than I ever realized. He has brought us in… into His feast and His banner over us is love. This is quite a surprise and the opposite of what we deserve. As sinners, we are eternally separated from a Holy God and without hope of reconciliation on our own. We are Unholy. Separated. Sin-filled. Enemies of God. These were the banners over us. This is who we were. It wasn’t just the sin we have committed but it is the fact that we are sinners. It is at the core of who we are.

"As it is written, 'there is none righteous, not even one, there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless, there is none who do good, not even one."
-Romans 3:10-12
Yet, we are here. We are invited. We are welcome. Why? Because those banners have been done away with and we have been given a new banner… A banner whose words are etched in blood. The blood of the sinless Christ, who lived, died and was raised to set us free, uniting a broken and separated people to Himself. What does the banner over us declare?

That is our new name. 
No longer separated.
No longer condemned.
No longer shamed.
No longer guilty.

Beloved of Christ. 

For everyone who believes in Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sin, this is who we are and the only reason why we can come into His banqueting house. It would be a sheer mercy to let us stand at the door way and over hear or peer in on the feast or as Charles Spurgeon once said, “to sit under the table and eat the crumbs that fall on the floor.” Yet, He brought us in and adopted us as His own and has given us access to freely and fully partake in His own riches.

This is a fundamental basic in the Gospel, yet it can become so mundane to our souls. We forget the gravity of the Truth. Jesus loves me. Me- sinful, prideful, rebellious, strong-willed, independent Mariah who, left to her own devises would never choose Jesus. This why God initiated, loved and chose me first. It has nothing to do with me. He loves me, not because I’m worthy or lovely or good. He loves because He is in and of Himself is LOVE. Love enough, to redeem, reconcile and unite my broken and sinful heart to His perfect, spotless one. 

Do we really live this? Yes, we know this intellectually, but do our lives reflect that His love is enough? Not just for salvation but His perfect Love- here and now, covering every area, every situation and season. His Love displayed through the Gospel is enough... For our sanctification, for our righteousness, for our healing, for grace, for power in overcoming sin, for our holiness, He is enough.

For so much of my life, I spent trying to fix and heal myself in the name of Jesus yet, denying the power that was available to me. I knew, that I had been invited in, and that I was an adopted child of God, yet, I refused to live it because I felt so unworthy. Shame consumed me. Condemnation controlled me. I let my past effect my belief that freedom was actually available in Christ.
Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. So many of us live as peasants in the Kingdom rather than living as children of the Most High. Many of us, sit under the banqueting table content with eating the crumbs when the feast is waiting for us to partake in.

I plead with you my friends, do not be content with sitting in our shame and condemnation. Get up. Remember Whose you are and who you are in Christ. You aren’t who you used to be. You are redeemed. You have been ransomed. You have been rescued. Enough of letting Satan deceive you into thinking you are still under your old banners.
You are Loved.
His Love is enough.
Get off the floor.
It’s time to partake in the feast. 

"No in all these things, we are more than conquers through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither life nor death, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." 
-Romans 8:37-39

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